How to Stop Pinnacle Credit Services Collection Calls After Expired Statue of Limitations
My mother received a call at work from Debt Collection rep. Called rep back, he said he is calling to collect on a debt for client. According to him, my mom opened account in 6/2003 with last status dated 11/2004. Original creditor was Chase then sold off to Pinnacle. He had access to her credit report - he checked w/ me on phone and said he doesn't see the debt, however he said it's normal for debt in collection not shown on report. I though bad debt in collection stay on report for 10 years? Mom/I called Chase - who confirmed of only 2 current accounts. I checked mom's report pulled in 2/2012 and don't see the debt either. I asked him to provide documentation to validate debt, he said he can only send last statement that was mailed to my mom. I'm in OR, statue of limitation is 6 years for credit accounts? What can I do next to help mom stop collection attempted one expired SOL w/o restart clock on SOL?
What can I do to stop collection attempt on questionable debt that has expired statue of limitation?
First, I would like to know if the collection call was from Pinnacle Financial Group or Pinnacle Credit Services. If you are not sure which, or perhaps it is neither, let me know the phone number the debt collector called from or that you called him back on.
Pinnacle Financial and Debt Collection Accounts on Your Credit Report
When credit card payments are stopped, you end up with 30 day late payments on the credit report until the creditor, in this case Chase, charges off the debt. Charge off happens most often around 180 days of nonpayment, so 6 months. Once the credit card charges off, Chase may sell the debt to a debt buyer who may also report a collection trade line on the credit report. Once your debt goes unpaid for 7.5 years, both the Chase charged off account reporting AND the debt buyer or debt collector reporting should fall off.
This is why the negative items are not appearing on the credit report. The time for them to appear has expired. The ten year time line for negatives on a credit reports that you mentioned is often confused with the fact that chapter 7 bankruptcies will remain on the credit report for 10 years.
A debt collector who tells you, as a general fact, that it is normal for collection accounts to not show on the credit report is not to be trusted right out of the gate.
Pinnacle Financial Group or Pinnacle Credit Services Buy Debts
Debt buyers like the Pinnacles are chasing down bad debts in order to turn a profit. Sometimes they buy up debt that may be really old. It sounds like they have had this debt for a few years from what you wrote in your post. If they have had it for all this time, they screwed up by not making collection attempts earlier.
There are many reasons debts get lost in the weeds when they are sold off, resold, assigned out and the rest of the sorted mess that happens. The fact he mentioned he can mail a copy of the last Chase statement to your mom is actually surprising. But it appears none of that may matter at this point.
With the date of last payment made to Chase on this credit card being more than 6 years ago, neither Pinnacle Financial Group nor Pinnacle Credit Services can legitimately use the courts to collect the debt. Well, they could try, but you would defend the attempt by properly noticing the court that the account is time barred due to the Oregon statute of limitations having expired.
Sending a Cease Communication Letter to a Debt Collector
Cease communication letters are a great tool to get collection calls and attempts to stop. I caution against sending them when a legitimate debt is owed because it cuts a debt collector like the Pinnacles off from any effort to collect other than through the courts, and most people want to avoid be sued.
In your situation, where the debt is past the statue of limitations, sending a cease communication letter does not raise the concerns of cutting them off from collector calls and collection letters.
A very simple cease communication letter sent certified mail return receipt requested would do the trick. A basic cease communication letter would consist of:
- Who you are (Name, address, and phone numbers).
- Identify the Chase credit card debt by account number and any other internal number Pinnacle may have used or given you as a file number.
- Make a simple statement that your requesting (read demanding) no further collection attempts as is your right pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (1692c).
- Throw in a little something about the statute of limitations having expired
That’s the gist. Keep a copy of the letter and the return receipt you get back in a safe place. If they continue collection attempts after that you will have additional options to deal with the situation.
Please let me know which Pinnacle debt collector this is in a comment reply below. Also post any additional questions you may have. Any readers dealing with a Pinnacle debt collector are welcome to add to the discussion using the comment section.